Everton’s first-team players returned to USM Finch Farm for the opening day of pre-season – and evertontv’s cameras were on hand to capture behind-the-scenes footage.
Toffees players were assessed during a series of strength and conditioning tests, overseen by the Club’s fitness and medical staff.
Matt Taberner, Head of Rehabilitation, explains the exercises the players were undertaking in the video above, and how each one allows the fitness coaches to monitor players' progress throughout the season.
The squad’s programme included hamstring, groin and full-body strength tests.
“It’s all electronically recorded,” says Taberner. “We have strain gauges, which detect force and gives us the information straight back to our laptops.
“When you look at the exercise Theo (Walcott) was doing, that was an isometric hamstring test. We do it so we know his baseline for the rest of the season. We’ll also do it at the end of pre-season, to see if there’s any change, and that will then be his marker until the end of the season.
“For Beni (Baningime), he was doing an eccentric knee flexor strength test. Strength is one of the modifiable factors for a hamstring strain and this well tell us how much force he is generating with his left and his right hamstring.
“Cenk’s (Tosun) was an isometric mid-thigh pull. It’s a test of full-body strength. We then calculate how strong the individual is relative to his body mass, which we then use in conjunction with one of the jump tests which tells us whether the player needs to focus on strength or ballistic power. It gives us some focus for their strength and condition programming.
“And you can see Mason (Holgate) doing a counter movement jump. It is a test of lower body power, so this will tell us how much power the athlete is capable of producing, relative to their body mass. Because we can't look at everybody in general, we need to look at them on an individual basis and where they need to focus their training programme, either on strength development or power development. It’s all about doing something that’s centrally focused on what they need to work on.”